Thursday, November 3, 2011

{GlassRoad Blog Tour} The Opposite of Art by Athol Dicson

Book DescriptionA great artist is cast into the icy Harlem River by a hit-and-run driver. His heart stops, and he sees something that defies description. Presumed dead by all who knew him and obsessed with the desire to paint the inexpressible, he embarks on a pilgrimage to seek help from holy men around the globe. But is it possible to see eternity without becoming lost within it? After a quarter of a century, when the world begins to whisper that he may be alive, two people come looking for the artist: the daughter he never knew existed, and the murderer who hit him on the bridge all those years ago.

My Review:  The Opposite Of Art is one of those complex reads that makes the reader think.  Sheridan Ridler  is the focus of this story.  Sheridan, a painter, is one of those rough.around.the.edges type of people.  He'll use you and abuse his relationship with you and never see that he's in the wrong.
Sheridan falls off the bridge into the Hudson River.  As he's in the river he "sees" something glorious and knows he must paint it.  And so begins his journey...a journey of learning.  He goes from a hippie camp, to a Buddhist enclave, onto Tel Aviv and then to New Mexico.  An interesting, insightful journey.  A spiritual journey that, is somewhat like the journey we are all traveling.  
Since Sheridan doesn't show up as a living person, his agent has him declared legally dead.  Sheridan's pregnant girlfriend leaves New York and goes on to California.
As decades goes by, new art from these journeys begin to show up.  Sheridan't agent grows uneasy because Sheridan's paintings are worth more since he's dead...he can't be alive or the money gets less.  Sheridan's worth becomes less as a living human being so, in a sense, he must die for his art.  Sheridan is learning about others and not to be so focused on himself. "I've tried everything,"whispered Ridler. "Nothing is enough."
"Would you trade your feelings for some peace? Would you give up love?" (p. 340) This is where I believe Sheridan Ridler  begins to "see" his mistakes and to seek for God.
There is a lot mixed in this read...symbolism, imagery, fantasy and realism which makes for an interesting and thoughtful read.  The gospel is presented like a dove on a ledge~it's there, you just can't always see it. 
*This book was provided for review by GlassRoad PR*
Meet the Author:
Athol Dickson's novels transcend description with a literary style that blends magical realism, suspense, and a strong sense of spirituality. Critics have favorably compared his work to such diverse authors as Octavia Butler (Publisher's Weekly) and Flannery O'Connor (The New York Times). His RIVER RISING is an Audie Award winner and three of his novels have won the Christy Award, including his most recent, LOST MISSION. Athol's next novel, THE OPPOSITE OF ART, is about pride, passion, and death as a spiritual pursuit. Look for it in September, 2011. Athol lives with his wife in southern California.

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